Concordia St. Paul’s Anika Whitling knocked down a three to knot the game at 9-9 with 15:21 to play in the first half, but the Jennies responded with buckets from Keuna Flax and BreAnna Lewis to regain a 13-9 lead.
Whitling came back to splash another trey on the ensuing possession to cut the Jennies’ lead to 13-12, and would take the lead on a three by Ameshia Kearney to take a two-point advantage. Concordia St. Paul went on to score nine unanswered points following Kearney’s trey to take a 21-13 lead with 12 minutes left to play in the first half.
The Jennies were able to slice the deficit to four at 23-19 over the next 2:13, but the Golden Bears went on a 7-1 spurt to go ahead, 30-20 with 6:34 until halftime.
UCM was held to five points over the final six and a half minutes, falling behind, 41-25 at intermission. They outscored Concordia St. Paul, 16-6 in the paint, but received just two points from the bench.
In the game’s second half, the Jennies were able to cut the deficit to 13 at 46-33, but the Golden Bears held off UCM for the rest of the night.
The Jennies scored 35 points in the second half in comparison to 25 in the first 20 minutes. UCM got to the charity stripe 16 times in the game, depositing 11 free throw tosses (68.8 percent). UCM shot 31 percent from the floor (22-of-71) and 22.7 percent from three-point range (5-of-22).
Central Missouri finished the season with their best record in 14 years and won their first NCAA Tournament game since the 2005-06 season. The Jennies’ all-time NCAA Tournament record falls to 20-19.